The Palaeozoic collection of the Department of Geology & Palaeontology of the NHM contains fossil material from c. 1200 localities from all continents except Antarctica. Due to the collection’s history, material from European localities forms the core of the collection, accounting for approximately 80% of the specimens. North American material forms roughly 10% of the fossils.
The collection comprises material from 43 countries, particularly those that have fossiliferous Palaeozoic deposits that had been exploited in the 19th century. Almost one third of the material derives from Palaeozoic sediments of the Prague Basin and was obtained by exchange and purchase from famous researchers such as Joachim Barrande (1799–1883). After specimens from today’s Czech Republic, material from Germany (16%), the USA (9%), Austria (8%) and Sweden (6%) are important parts of the Palaeozoic Collection. Larger complexes are also represented by fossils from Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia and the UK.
A large part of the collection derives from Carboniferous deposits (ca. 39%), followed by Devonian and Silurian material. Many specimens date back to the expansion of the collections when the NHM was founded in the late 19th century, when large numbers of specimens were obtained by purchase and exchange, or as donations.
Repository for geological and paleontological types.
Reference specimens for research.
Fossil identification upon request.
Biostratigraphic analysis upon request.
High resolution photographs upon request.
Production of casts and replicas upon request.
Discovery V20 Stereomikroscope
JCM-5000 NeoScope SEM
Yxlon FF35 CT
Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure
The staff of the Geological-Paleontological Department has taxonomic expertise for identification and scientific description of fossil organisms. A focus is the paleobiogeographic and paleoecological interpretation and the dating of deposits based on their fossils (biostratigraphy).
In addition, the staff members of the Geological-Paleontological Department provide sound knowledge in collection and data management.